A website is a necessary part of running ANY size business in the 21st century.

But as a freelancer or small business owner, do you need one the moment you start thinking about freelancing? Once you have a good idea? When you get your first client?

Those are great questions!

Let’s dive into some answers.

When should you start a website?

This can vary. However, the smartest and safest move is to reserve the domain name (the URL) once you have a business name in mind.

Even if you don’t intend to start selling your products or services immediately, having the domain and social media handles ensures you’ll have the ones you want when you ARE ready.

As for actually building your website, the time is before you start pitching/marketing your services or products.

Once you start marketing yourself and your business, many people will Google you/your business before making a purchase.

Having a website means YOU get to control the narrative around how your business is marketed. You control the messaging.

Even as a freelancer, I believe a LinkedIn profile alone or other social media isn’t enough.

Many shoppers these days check the website as their first move.

Does the business look legit? If there is no site or social media, could this company be a scam?

Why should you start a website?

A nice website (you can get a free one on places like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace!) basically gives your business credibility and legitimacy.

It’s a place for you to introduce yourself as a human person and not just a business. It lets you add humanity and personalization to your company.

It’s also simply is a necessity. You need a website.

Whether you’re an author, a freelance graphic designer, run a small agency, or anything else, you need a website.

You can sell products (like your books!) and services (consulting services!), post reviews from satisfied clients, add a portfolio of your work, have a place for potential clients to contact you, and even have a blog — a place to show off your skills and knowledge. And to optimize some SEO keywords and bring in website traffic and generate leads.

You can have landing pages, email newsletter signups, promotions, and so much more.

Websites are way more than just an ecommerce shop — they are a hub for you and your entire business.

How do you start a website?

This one is a little more complicated.

The easiest way to start a website if you have no experience is to use something like WordPress (my site is WP!), Wix, or Squarespace. These 3 consistently rank as 3 of the top free website builders.

A straightforward website builder can walk you through the process from signup to a beautiful site. WordPress is known for customization and flexibility but has a more complicated backend, while the other 2 are well-known for their simplicity and ease of use but may have fewer customization options.

You can either purchase a URL through them or use one you already own. Same with hosting.

Just know there are a lot of options, so you certainly won’t be left with nowhere to go.

As for what you should include, try looking at other freelancers/consultants/small businesses in your industry and see what they include.

This exercise will also help clarify what you do and do not like about those sites, which will help you when making choices for your own site.

The standard pages to include are:

  • Homepage/welcome with a newsletter signup form or popup
  • About me/about the company to tell your story
  • Services page to show what you’re selling (sometimes they include pricing, sometimes not)
  • A blog for contextualizing your work
  • Contact form/page for people to message you

Other optional pages include:

A Portfolio page if visuals are part of your services or a Shop page if you sell physical products and things like landing pages for specific courses/books/products, etc.

You could add a use cases page to show how your services or product can be used in various ways.

You might want a “team” page if you have employees and want to showcase them.

Or a Media page to put links to articles about you or podcasts you’ve been on.

Perhaps a testimonial or review page to show what people think about working with you.

The world is your oyster! The sky is the limit!

It’s YOUR website. Let it show your personality and be proud of your business. Think of your website as your little corner of the internet.

Alexa, play ‘In My Own Little Corner…’ from Cinderella.

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